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“Repaying it Backwards” – Honoka’a Class of 2013 Thanks Teachers, Class of 1938 Honored

The Honoka‘a Hongwanji Buddhist Temple will host its 59th Annual Baccalaureate Service, Saturday, May 4, 2013 at 5 p.m., with a special theme: “Repaying It Backwards.”  The entire community is invited to attend services at the Social Hall, with potluck dinner to follow.

Honokaa High and Intermediate School’s first graduating seniors, the Class of 1938 (Fujie Matsunami and Florence Botelho, foreground, and Itsue Hino second row) are welcomed back to one of their classrooms by members of the Class of 2013, (front row) Monica Carlos and Amanda Agdepa, (second row) Rodel Lacanlale, Jr., Shawn Garcia, Serena Offenbacker, (back row) Jovi Valencia, William Hardisty, and Principal Glenn Gray.  Photo by Sarah Anderson

Honokaa High and Intermediate School’s first graduating seniors, the Class of 1938 (Fujie Matsunami and Florence Botelho, foreground, and Itsue Hino second row) are welcomed back to one of their classrooms by members of the Class of 2013, (front row) Monica Carlos and Amanda Agdepa, (second row) Rodel Lacanlale, Jr., Shawn Garcia, Serena Offenbacker, (back row) Jovi Valencia, William Hardisty, and Principal Glenn Gray. Photo by Sarah Anderson

This year’s graduates are encouraged to show their gratitude for teachers who helped them along the way by submitting a short statement, thanking a specific teacher.  The teacher need not be present, and the student will have the option of personally reading the statement or having it presented by the emcee.  Public, private and home school students, and all teachers are invited to participate or attend.

In addition, the Baccalaureate Service will celebrate the 75th anniversary of the first graduating class of Honoka‘a High and Intermediate School, Class of 1938.  Attending alumni will be recognized as special guests and honorees.

Reverend David Fujimoto of the Puna Hongwanji Buddhist Temple will give a keynote talk and the New Dharma Band will perform.  Resident minister Reverend Kosho Yagi will officiate at the Baccalaureate service. Aloha attire is suggested.

The Baccalaureate Service is free to all students, teachers, families, friends and the general public of all faiths, creeds, and beliefs. Aloha wear suggested.

Because dinner will be served after the ceremony, please RSVP in advance to 775-0388. Inquiries regarding instructions for students, teacher nominations and statements can be sent to repayitbackwards@yahoo.com, or as a Facebook message to www.facebook.com/peacedayparade.

The event is supported by Domino’s Pizza (Waimea) and Cafe Il Mondo (Honoka‘a) who are providing incentive awards for participating students.

109th Annual Community-Wide Memorial Service in Honoka`a

Since 1904, the Honokaa Hongwanji Buddhist Temple has annually hosted the “Obon Service,” a communal memorial event when families and friends come together to remember loved ones who have passed away in the previous 12 months.

Bon Dancers Violet Oketani and Ann Koji, CTarleton photo

This year, the Buddhist temple is making an increased effort to include any and all members of the community to participate in the event, regardless of faith.  Non-Buddhists are welcome; any one can request to have a loved one remembered and included in the service.  When that person’s name is called, friends and family go forward to offer incense in his or her memory.  Even if only one person comes forward, it is important and gratifying to have the deceased remembered and honored in the presence of everyone. This is a unique opportunity for the entire community to support one another as we memorialize our loved ones.

The ceremony starts at 6 p.m., Saturday, July 21. The service will include “The Dharma Band” performing compositions by Mark Knopfler and Justin Currie. It will be followed by the always colorful and festive Bon Dance. Food and refreshments will be for sale.  Call Reverend Yagi, 775-7232, to request to have your loved one included in the service.   Admission is free for both events; 45-516 Plumeria Street, Honokaa.